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View Full Version : Opinions-Service charges vs. tipping ????


localady
August 10th, 2004, 10:56 PM
I watched with interest the recent announcement from NCL that they were now going to be charging a "non-removable" service charge of $10 per person per day. How do you feel about this charge??? Would you approve if HAL made their daily charge so that it was also not removable????

Himself
August 10th, 2004, 11:05 PM
I prefer tipping. Tipping is a way of saying "Thank You." I kind of do not like "service charges." The Sevice Charge is like an unwanted tax that is imposed on one. A tip is a gift for a job well down.

Himself

ryansmemom
August 10th, 2004, 11:20 PM
I also prefer tipping. I agree that tipping is a personal way of saying thank you to someone who has rendered a service. I always prefer handing my tip to someone rather than just leaving it on a table. There is always a warm feeling and a sense of mutual appreciation when you do it that way.

A service charge, added to your bill, removable or not, eliminates all of that. No warm feelings. No sense of personal gratification or appreciation. I don't like it at all.

Linda

lddam
August 10th, 2004, 11:25 PM
I prefer the more personal approach of tipping those with whom I have had direct contact. I truly believe, human nature being what it is, that service will suffer in the long run as the incentive to excel is no longer present. As long as one is not a complete "slug", he or she will share equally in the remuneration as does one who extends himself/herself to provide the extra measure of service to pax. Service will deteriorate to the lowest common denominator of what is required to do as little work as possible and still avoid pax complaints.

Will I avoid sailing a line that has adopted this "service charge" policy? I don't think so, but my obstinate streak propels me to a position of "If $10 pppd is what they demand, then $10 pppd is ALL they'll get...nothing less, and definitely nothing more.

grannynurse
August 11th, 2004, 12:40 AM
At least NCL is being up front and calling it what it is. It is certainly not a gratuity, and BTW neither is HAL's.
GN

myspacethridbase
August 11th, 2004, 02:09 AM
Is this new policy mandatory or can it be worked with upon arrival? I have read other posts on this...not sure if with or on a HAL ship one can request to not do the $10.00 and then tip on your own? Anyone current on this?

ron46936
August 11th, 2004, 07:32 AM
I personanly like having "tips" or "service charges" added to my bill. Additional tips can then given directly for extra special or above and beyond service. I do think there will eventually be a reaction similar the "port fees" litigation of a few years ago. Maybe I'll get some more of the valuable coupons I received from those settlements.

bombero
August 11th, 2004, 08:20 AM
Most of the other lines are now taking out $10. pppd and have been for awhile now.. I at first thought it was a good idea, so all the dead-beats would get nailed. Now though, it seems you are getting pressured to tip certain individuals (room stewards & waiters) above and beyond the $10. pppd. With that gentle pressure being applied, it won't be long until the $10. pppd will become a mandatory wage subsidy for the cruise line and tipping will be back in... Bombero

2rg
August 11th, 2004, 08:27 AM
Ah, a topic close to my heart as I watch all the cruise lines degenerate and lose yet 1 more thing that made them what they once were. Known and fixed service charges should be included in the cost of the cruise not tacked on for an over and above cost. Since the cost is known, $10 per day per person, why not include it as part of the cruise fare. Then they can say their policy is NO tipping (required ;o) ). This will allow us to keep the tipping policy topic alive on this board and everyone else confused.

But I am serious about rolling it in to the cost of the cruise. When we started cruising, HAL claimed one of the reasons for the no tipping required policy was because they paid their staff more than other cruise lines. I haven't heard them use that statement in a long long time. Anyway thats my 2 cents for what its worth.

Jewelfine
August 11th, 2004, 08:28 AM
I prefer tipping as I believe that some people in the service industry won't "work for" their tip if it is automatic. It is possible that the level of service will decrease with "service charges".
I know that people that are great servers deserve their tips and I also know that I don't like to tip too much for poor service

Krazy Kruizers
August 11th, 2004, 08:34 AM
:)

I still have mixed feelings over this $10 per person automatic "tipping".

We saw too many waitstaff in the dining room getting stiffed on several of last cruises. On the Oosterdam we were the only ones left in our waiter's area after the ending song. So his assistant and he got tips only from us. And both were excellent - service was excellent. When both of them returned to our area, their happy faces disappeared when they looked around and realized that everyone but us had made a mad dash out of the dining room while they were singing.

We left the new "tip" on because we wanted to tip everyone extra and didn't want that extra money being put into a pool.

:)

Orcrone
August 11th, 2004, 08:45 AM
NCL has it's free style dining, where you generally won't get the same server twice during a cruise. Would I be correct in assuming that tipping was done at the end of each meal? Perhaps many people who sailed NCL didn't tip as they figured they'd never see the server again?

lipoppop
August 11th, 2004, 08:52 AM
Like most of the other responders I prefer to tip. The amount would depend on the level of service.

Yet there are people whose good service is unseen and they were not tipped in the past. On the other hand I have had service that was so bad that I would not want to tip and make that clear to that person but not affect other people who deserve tips.

With HAL's policy whether it becomes manatory or not I will additionally tip for excellent service. Poor service employees will get their share of the pool but hopefully HAL will recognize their failures by our survey responses and take action.

So soon I think in addition to the cruise fee our charges will look like:
NDA $$$
Taxes and Fees $$$
Required serive charge $$$

localady
August 11th, 2004, 10:55 AM
Yes I agree with many of you that it is not a "gratuity" when it is not removable! Seems to be a poorly veiled attempt to increase the cost of the cruise without having to advertise a more expensive price!

We found the $10 pp charge okay on the Ryndam, but yes we did tip our stewards a bit more. I would not be happy if it went to a mandatory charge, as it seems to ensure that regardless of the staff's performance, they will be paid. :eek: There was some comfort to know if I was truly unhappy, I could talk with my checkbook, and remove the charge! :cool:

elmorejj
August 11th, 2004, 11:11 AM
As I see it: whether we like it or not doesn`t concern the bean counters, it is there and there it will stay. Eventually I think all cruise lines will make it mandantory, and we won`t be able to do a thing about it. If talk of litigation raises its ugly head, then they will add it to the cost of the cruise without it being a separate line item.
As to service deteriorating, I don`t think this will happen. All one has to do if service is not up to par is report that person to their superiors and mention it on the end of cruise survey. if enough pax make reports, someones head will roll. As always we will be able to tip for above and beyond service, and then we`ll be back to square one.....tipping! It just will cost $70 more pp on a 7 day cruise....as always, JMHO......jean :cool:

jhannah
August 11th, 2004, 11:21 AM
The main problem with rolling this charge into the cruise fare (without segregating it as a service charge) is that it now becomes taxable revenue. I understand the trend to include the service charge automatically. They are trying to minimize stiffing. However, since we're free to remove it, some scoundrels will do so and continue to stiff their hard-working servers. As of now, I'm just going to go with the flow and see if the automatic $10 does what it's supposed to. I would think it will take a full season to assemble credible data.

jazzsea
August 11th, 2004, 11:50 AM
A surcharge is revenue enhancement. Pre paid gratuities are supposed to go to the staff.

I would have no interest in booking a cruise line that was going to charge me a $10 a day surcharge.

I expect that the $10 a day that we pay to Holland America will go for gratuities.

Holland America has too much marketing savy to pull something like a surcharge. I wouldn't book NCL anyway. Flame away. I really don't like the cruise line.

FoxyTerrier
August 11th, 2004, 12:13 PM
:)

I still have mixed feelings over this $10 per person automatic "tipping".

We saw too many waitstaff in the dining room getting stiffed on several of last cruises. On the Oosterdam we were the only ones left in our waiter's area after the ending song. So his assistant and he got tips only from us. And both were excellent - service was excellent. When both of them returned to our area, their happy faces disappeared when they looked around and realized that everyone but us had made a mad dash out of the dining room while they were singing.

We left the new "tip" on because we wanted to tip everyone extra and didn't want that extra money being put into a pool.

:)

I also had mixed feelings over the automatic tipping until it was fully explained at the disembarcation talk.

We had a strange thing happen. On the second day of our 10 dayer our waiter got transferred to the Westerdam. Not one word was said to us about the new waitor who was our old bus boy. It wasn't that big of a deal - just odd. On the last dinner of the cruise no one came around to say good bye. Not the waiter, the new bus boy or even the wine steward. Needless to say no extra tips were handed out. And while we were waiting for them to come I noticed none of the waiters were doing this - just cleaning up. On other cruises there were lots of good byes, hugs and pictures.

I still think the service was good, but not great. There worst part was our wine steward had too many tables and it took for ever to get our pre-ordered wine, but he tried very hard and was extremely sweet.

Jemima
August 11th, 2004, 01:48 PM
We loved having the tips done automatically on our 7/10 cruise except that they are now on this month's credit card bill. I'd prefer to have the option of charging them ahead, as we now do with online shore excursion booking.
The service on this cruise was as great as usual. We saw no difference.

bryanwal
August 11th, 2004, 05:12 PM
I like the new system - it fits more in my philosophy that people should be paid a decent basic wage. With the old system, the servers and stewards, etc. needed the tips as part of their basic wage and many got stiffed through selfishness or ignorance on the part of passengers. Now that doesn't happen. On our latest cruise, I passed out an additional $150 in tips where I thought they were merited, on top of the service charge. They became true tips instead of a supplement to a substandard wage.

Now, what all the cruise lines really need to do is to build the service charge into the price of the cruise, to make it more transparent.

KAKcruiser
August 11th, 2004, 05:37 PM
I wish there was no such thing as a tip. I wish the cruise lines would pay employees wages they were happy with and I didn't have to worry about subsidizing their salaries. My understanding was that it used to be this way on HAL. The employees were taken care of and anything they got from the passengers was extra for them. I really don't want to be told how much to tip and have employees expect a certain amount. And I certainly don't want to pay above and beyond $10 a day per person. I expect a certain level of service to be provided because I have paid for that. If I am given exceptional service, then I might give a tip for that exceptional service.